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Title: Real Troubleshooting! SWF
Url: http://www.matec.org/forums/_attachments/lil_seven/tsct.swf
Creator: Schreiner, Bruce
Publisher: Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC)
Description: It always seems that the classroom lecture (theory) portion of training electronic technicians comes easy to teachers. There are many books, materials, examples and parallels for educational activities to guide teachers. There must be a better way to both teach and evaluate in the hands-on environment (lab setting). The lab environment should be a direct replica of the actions of a technician repairing equipment but meant to reinforce the newly learned concepts from recent classroom lectures. Not only the actions of the student should mimic the real world but also the thought process used in resolving problems with their circuits should be the same. This Learning Invention Lab focuses on teaching real-world troubleshooting techniques to future electronic technicians. The current method has students prototyping common circuits on breadboards and examining their operation using scopes, logic analyzers, and logic probes. When they encounter problems the majority of the time they just re-build the circuit or re-check of their wiring instead of trying to figure out what is the cause of their problem logically. This is valid troubleshooting technique since it is the most likely cause of the problem but it is not what we are trying to teach the students. Troubleshooting circuitry on the job has technicians using test equipment to determine the problem for a circuit that they knew worked previously and now has developed a problem. To re-create this environment in the lab for teaching I decided that I needed to construct some special circuit boards with designed problems that could be presented to the students for problem determination. Students follow the normal lab learning process by breadboarding common circuits and learning through guided questions and activities. After major topics are covered, for example counters, students are given a circuit board with a problem involving the topic area. They must troubleshoot the board using a schematic, background information provided, and test equipment. They must determine the problem without the ability to swap components. This creates an environment that exactly emulates real-world troubleshooting. This LIL requires the design and implementation of fault inserted circuit boards, nothing more than circuit boards with intentionally designed problems. My designs usually include a DIP switch to select between multiple problems and foam backing on the bottom of the board to hide obvious problems from inquiring minds. This can be accomplished using Multisim in conjunction with Ultiboard (both Electronics Workbench products) or other schematic capture and board layout software to develop single or double-side board layouts. The layouts can be sent to one of the circuit board manufacturers (found in trade magazines such as Nuts and Volts or Circuit Cellar) with short turn-around times or if funds are available you could purchase a circuit board milling machine to make the boards in house (LPKF is a major manufacturer). The lab material accompanying this troubleshooting activity should provide a brief outline of the troubleshooting process. Sections should be provided for what the student thinks the problem might be, how they approached proving their thoughts on the problem, what they found (waveforms, signal levels, etc.), and their final result. This is necessary to yield a result that the student may use to improve their performance in the future instead of basing feedback on an all or nothing (A or F grade) approach. This was part of the Learning Invention Labs that MATEC held. Visit the MATEC.org homepage for more information.
LC Classification: Education -- Special aspects of education -- Types of education -- Vocational education (General)
Education -- Theory and practice of education -- Teaching (Principles and practice) -- Problem-based learning
Technology -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering -- Electric apparatus and materials -- Electric circuits
Technology -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering -- Electronics -- Apparatus and materials -- Maintenance and repair. Electronic troubleshooting
Technology -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering -- Electronics -- Study and teaching
GEM Subject: Science -- Engineering
Science -- Technology
Science -- Instructional issues
Vocational Education -- Technology
Vocational Education -- Instructional issues
Key Concept: Physics -- Circuits
Electrical engineering
Key Concepts Complete: Yes
Resource Type: Demonstrations
Instructional Materials
InteractiveResource (DCMI Type Vocabulary)
Science Materials
Format: flash
Audience: College/University Instructors
Higher Education
Professional Formation
Teaching Professionals
Technical School First Cycle
Technical School Second Cycle
University First Cycle
University Postgrad
University Second Cycle
Vocational Training
Language: English
Access Rights: Free access
Subject: Engineering Education
Date Of Record Release: 2012-12-10 09:37:11 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2011-08-31 14:03:44 (W3C-DTF)
Source Type: ATE Center
Source: NetWorks
Full Record Views: 108
Resource URL Clicks: 15
Cumulative Rating: NOT YET RATED
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